Articles

Worth My Attention: Making Gardens Grow

I am not a good gardener.

I do, however, have friends who are master gardeners (and you should see their work.) Stunning. Inspiring. Amazing.

Everything they touch blooms and blossoms and thrives.

Not so in my case.

I do try.

I read the gardening books.
I get on my hands and knees and hoe/till/plant/weed/fertilize/water and weed some more.
I even talk to the plants…I do
.

Sometimes it’s so bad I cannot tell the difference between a plant I want to nurture and a weed I need to kill.

There are moments when I’m grabbing hold of a plant by its roots deliberating if I should yank it out or not. I almost break into a sweat like a character in an action movie who doesn’t know if they should cut the blue wire or the red wire before the whole building explodes. Often, I just get up and walk away and wait for a second opinion (and I’ve probably saved many a fledging flower’s life doing that.)

Which is why when my good friend offered to dig up some of her thriving perennials and give them to me, I felt hesitant on two counts.

It was going to mean hard labor on her part.
I didn’t know if I could keep them alive (even with my best efforts.)

But being the wonderfully hopeful and faithful friend that she is…she went through the work of digging up a bunch of these budding beauties, potted them, and tended to them carefully until we next met and then she handed off the responsibility to me.

With my trunk loaded with flowers, I went home and got busy planting each flower along my fence (and this photo depicts one of my success stories.) Happiness.

As anyone who digs around in the dirt knows…planting is only the first step.

Attending to the flowers and their ongoing needs is what it takes for them to live well and flourish.

And every single time I go outside to water and weed (and assess their growth) I think about how similar all growing things are to one another.

People and plants especially.

How much time and attention and gentle care have I given to those in my life this week? Today?

Have I watered my relationships with respect, communication, and care?

Have I weeded out my persistent firmly entrenched pride and tried to make amends as needed?

Have I simply given my thoughtful attention to the people I say I care about?

To be honest, I always want my garden (literal and figurative) to grow…but I’m not always willing to give it the careful attention required to make it happen.

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